'Llantrevelyn', a highly-detailed diorama exhibited
at RailEx NE, modelled in 009 gauge of a fictional
Welsh Valley narrow gauge railway. The detail and back scene
add depth to a small physical space
The increased availability of affordable LEDs for lighting up model buildings, street and station lamps, as well as enabling a model railway to 'come alive' at night, but also add to the multi-sensory experience for the modeller. This is where, to me, railway modelling extends beyond a pastime and becomes a form of art therapy. Obsessions with railways and trains has been a well-known stereotype associated with people with Asperger's Syndrome, but seen in a 'different light', I am finding that when approached in a different way, it can broaden one's horizons and experience.
|Lighting up at night!|
Further realism is also enabled by creating a sense of period, which can make a layout almost like an open air museum in miniature. This approach to railway modelling was largely pioneered by the late Roye England, whose work is displayed at Pendon Museum in Oxfordshire. Originally from Perth, Australia, with an interest in England's Great Western Railway, Roye England arrived in the Vale of the White Horse region of south west England in the 1920s. Inspired by the Vale's idyllic rural scenes, England soon noticed that with modernisation gradually increasing in the Vale, England realised that such scenes wouldn't be around for much longer. To preserve a typical village of the Vale of the White Horse the way it would have been in around 1930, England set about creating one in miniature, using largely card, what he described as his main medium for the modelling the past for the future.
|Some finely detailed farm buildings in Pendon Parva|
It is often said that with added scenery, small detailing and realism as applied by Roye England and encouraged by Cyril J Freezer, a train makes the transition from being simply a 'train set' to a 'model railway'. Doing the work involved to make this transition, I have found, takes it further to the point where railway modelling transcends into a form of art therapy. Researching scenes to model, as well as visiting Pendon Parva teach us a lot about the past, but I have also found that from modelling the scenes it can teach the modeller a lot about themselves, including how patient we can be, as well as tendencies to get a bit over eager at times!
|My favourite scene I have modelled, train passing windmill, |
a scene inspired by Weybourne on the North Norfolfk Railway